Heading into the 2011 season there was a lot of talk about UGA Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt being on the hot seat and how he could be fired if the Bulldogs had another bad year, but a 10-3 regular season record and an extremely close loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the Outback Bowl seems to have Richt back in safe territory.
Quarterback Aaron Murray said in a recent interview on Macon.com that hearing about his coach being on the hot seat added some pressure to the team before the 2011 season but now that the Richt's job seems safe, everything is a bit more relaxed.
"One less thing to worry about," Murray said. "Last year the whole talk was you don't get to the SEC championship game, you don't win 10 games, blah blah blah, coach Richt's gonna be fired. I know we don't talk about it too much, everybody on the team felt like hey we don't want coach Richt to leave, we love coach Richt, we love the rest of the coaches here.
"It was stressful, I think not only for us but the coaches. So I think this year everybody's a little bit more (like) relax, let's just go out there and play. I don't think anyone's on the hot seat or worrying about that."
The Bulldogs' 2011 season was a big turnaround for the team who finished the 2010 season with a 6-7 record. If the team really is more relaxed heading into the 2012 season due to their head coach's status, they could be in for another solid year in Athens.